Gift Guide #5: Your Adoring Wife Who Loves Reading in Bed and Eating All the Chocolate.

A relaxing massage at a local spa. (I really love CityWell.)

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Best of Year by Interior Magazine!

I am excited and proud to share that we have been chosen as a finalist of the Best of Year by Interior Magazine!



‘Not Your Typical Spa:’ Old-School Bathhouses Making A Comeback

Imagine soaking your troubles away or sweating your way to better health.

There are people doing just that, CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reports. The centuries-old tradition of bathhouses is back in a big way, as more people are turning to the immersive therapy.

“It’s not your typical spa where you’re shushed you put cucumbers on your eyes,” said Dimitry Shapiro, general manager of the Russian and Turkish Baths on East 10th Street.

That’s for sure. The bathhouse has been a no-frills destination for therapeutic sweats for more than 120 years.

“People understand the old ways of healing are smart,” Shapiro said.

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New Yorkers will do anything for a decadent bath

When Brooks Nader first moved to the city from Baton Rouge, La., five months ago, she searched for weeks to find an apartment in Soho with a suitable tub.

A steamy, candlelit bath is the brunette model’s favorite way to unwind after long days posing for shoots and racing around the city in sky-high stilettos. But when the time came to take her inaugural bath in her new place, her reveries of relaxation went down the drain.

“I took off my heels, started the water, turned the drain up — and it was broken. The [stopper] just didn’t work. It might as well have been a shower,” says Nader, 20. “I lost my mind — crying, literally, over a bath.”

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9 New York Bathhouses to Soak the Cold Right Out of You

If, back in December, we were all about snowy strolls through Central Park, by now we’re one frozen pipe away from fleeing to warmer climates. So until we can pack up for that tropical getaway, an afternoon at a bathhouse can do wonders for coping with those extra-bleak days. Plus, a soak in an Epsom salt-infused whirlpool has all sorts of health benefits according to science spa brochures. Here, nine spots that promise to ease your winter woes—and warm you up in the process. 

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The Urban Bathhouse Is a Wellness Trend We Can Get Behind

Luxurious places for a soak and sauna session are popping up around the United States. Here are seven to check out.

Although many cultures have their own wellness traditions, almost all of them have this in common: People love to soak and sweat. Today’s urban bathhouses meld these ancient practices with modern-day sensibilities, borrowing from Russian banyas, Turkish hammams, Korean jjimjilbangs, Finnish saunas, Greek and Roman baths, and Japanese sentos. All aim to promote self-care and good health through variations on soaks, steams, saunas, and community. And maybe because the world of late has been, well, taxing, we’ve seen these oases spring up in the United States, with offerings as diverse as the country itself. From a former mobster hangout in Detroit to ancient-style baths where you can soak in wine, here are six recently opened bathhouses to visit now—plus one you can plan on checking out in the near future.

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Zen in the City at Brooklyn's Hidden Boutique Bathhouse

Legend has it Gowanus’s grimy canal was once a dumping ground for New York’s murderous mafia, but these days the neighborhood is better known for being one of the city’s last artistic strongholds. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that this corner of Brooklyn is also home to a creatively conceived boutique bathhouse, set up with the goal of making wellness affordable and accessible to the whole community—struggling artists included.

“When I was creating this space I was thinking about what we’re lacking here in Brooklyn,” says Liz Tortolani, cradling a mug of black tea in the lounge area of cityWell, the bathhouse she launched in 2015.

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Soak and steam away the Monday blues

If the pictures of the hot tub and squat sauna at cityWell Brooklyn look as though someone just created a spa in the backyard of a brownstone, well, it’s because that is essentially what happened. But therein lies the charm of this boutique bathhouse in Gowanus. It’s easy to get to (which makes it easier to visit on a weeknight than, say, a trip to Brooklyn Banya) and through a new, tightly capped reservation system, there will always be room for you to either soak in the hot tub, shvitz in the steam shower or roast in the cedar sauna. Summertime is likely an even more relaxing season to be here, but it’s also wonderful to get so hot that you don’t feel the cold as you relax under the stars. There are community hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays for $25, but the 6pm-8pm open hours ($40) for men and women on Mondays is typically the least crowded. Once you steam yourself silly (or add a clay mask on to the session for an extra $5), you are just a few minutes away from Littlefield, home to the best Monday night comedy show, Butterboy, or the best Mexican restaurant in these parts, Claro. Advance reservations for open or community hours are a must. 

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Can Going to a Sauna Make Me Happy?

Recently I started going to the sauna after coming across a YouTube video.

It was an episode of health and nutrition researcher Rhonda Patrick’s “Found My Fitness” online show, and in it she interviewed a scientist about the mental-health benefits of something called “whole-body hyperthermia.” As her guest explained, hyperthermia entails gradually heating the whole body up to 101.3 F and then letting it cool down, which takes about an hour. This is essentially what happens when people do hot yoga, take long hot baths, and — most relevant to their discussion — visit saunas.

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City Well spa in Brooklyn

cityWell looks deceiving. Behind a non-descript door on an industrial block in Gowanus, Brooklyn, lies a holistic haven.

Massage therapist Liz Tortolani wanted to bring a boutique feel to wellness. Liz performs massages inside, where there's also a shower and steam room.

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